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Teachers’ Credit Union Perks and Programs – NerdWallet’s Picks

Feb. 3, 2013
Personal Finance
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Credit unions and teachers are a perfect match. Both are selflessly committed to improving people’s lives, and both provide great services to students. Credit unions have been popular with government and private sector workers since the earlier half the 20th century. Even today, many school employees have the option to join credit unions that serve them exclusively. However, many teachers’ credit unions have expanded their membership base to include members of their local communities. That doesn’t mean they’ve lost touch with their roots.

Teachers’ credit unions get an A+ for perks

Many teachers’ credit unions still offer great products and perks for teachers, like professional development loans, summer savings accounts, classroom grants, exclusive discounts at local businesses, and lots more. As you might expect, teachers’ credit unions also offer great services for students, too, everything from scholarships and college application assistance to financial literacy workshops. To help spread the word, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite programs at teachers’ credit unions across the country. We hope this list makes you eager to learn more!

Summer Saver Accounts – SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union (Santa Ana, CA)

It’s an unfortunate reality for many teachers nationwide: no summer school equals no paycheck. SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has the perfect solution for classified or certificated school employees on a 10- or 11-month pay schedule: a Summer Saver account. This account lets you make deposits from your paycheck through payroll deduction or direct deposit throughout the school year. While you’re working, your money will earn 2.00% – 3.00% APY (depending on which version of the account you sign up for). Once summer rolls around, you can have your funds automatically transferred to your share account. Better yet, you can withdraw your money anytime, penalty free. SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has branches throughout Southern California. They serve eligible private and public school employees in 10 Southern California counties. Please see their eligibility list for complete details and other ways to qualify for membership.

Free Financial Education Presentations – Teachers Federal Credit Union (Hauppauge, NY)

Learning to manage your money is a lifelong process. That’s why Teachers Federal Credit Union offers free financial education courses for everyone from kindergarteners to college students, and employees too. Presentation topics include banking basics, identity theft, small business basics, investing and retirement, and credit union career opportunities. Contact the marketing department to sign up. Teachers Federal Credit Union has 23 branches on Long Island. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school or regularly conducts business in Nassau County or Suffolk County, New York. Please see their membership eligibility page for complete details.

Teacher Loans – Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union (Pasadena, TX)

Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union thinks “teachers deserve more than just apples”. They offer personal loans to help you relocate to a new state, buy supplies for your classroom, buy a new computer, or work toward your master’s degree. With a 3.90% APR (with approved credit), these loans are a much better deal than private student loans, and they’re definitely a better deal than maxing out your credit card. Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union has branches in Pasadena, League City and Pearland. Membership is open to people who regularly work in the educational industry in the counties of Harris, Galveston or Brazoria. Please see their Field of Membership page for complete details and other ways to qualify.

Campus Credit Unions – Educational Systems Federal Credit Union (Greenbelt, MD)

Educational Systems Federal Credit Union has nearly 60 student credit unions in K-12 schools and even several branches on community college campuses. These branches are not just convenient for students, teachers and parents. They’re also immensely valuable for teaching students financial literacy in the real world. Students 13 and older can open a basic savings account, and students 16 and over can open a checking account with a debit card, all from a convenient, On-site Financial Services location. In addition to their On-site Financial Services locations, Educational Systems Federal Credit Union has branches spanning from the suburbs of Washington, D.C., to the eastern shore of Maryland. Membership is open to employees and students, as well parents and immediate family members of school affiliates in Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles, Calvert, St. Mary’s or Talbot counties. Please see their membership eligibility page for details and additional ways to join.

Scholarships – Members Advantage Community Credit Union (Barre, VT)

Members Advantage Community Credit Union awards over $4,000 in scholarships each year. If you’re a high school senior with college plans, and you’re a current member of the credit union, you can apply. Scholarship recipients are chosen based on academic merit, extracurricular activities, community service and financial need. Members Advantage Community Credit Union has branches in Barre, South Burlington and White River Junction. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, or worships in Chittenden, Lamoille, Orange, Washington or Windsor counties. Click here for other ways to qualify.

Student Loans – Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union (Evansville, IL)

For some college students, federal loans, grants and scholarships aren’t enough to fully cover the cost of their college education. As part of their ongoing support for education, Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union is one of many credit unions offering private student loans in conjunction with Credit Union Student Choice. We believe everyone should consider other options before a private student loan, but if you’re going to get one, a credit union can usually offer you a better deal with flexible payment options. Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union has branches in Indiana and Kentucky. Membership is open to affiliates of eligible employee groups and organizations, and their immediate family and housemates.

College Application Week – State Employees Credit Union (Raleigh, NC)

Representatives from SECU were on hand to help high school seniors fill out their online college applications for College Application Week at local high schools. Held annually in November, this week-long event encourages first generation students to apply online to North Carolina colleges and universities. State Employees’ Credit Union has branches throughout North Carolina. Membership is open to employees of North Carolina’s State Agencies and Public School Systems, including immediate family members. For additional ways to qualify and complete details, please see their membership eligibility page.

Education Grants – Apple Federal Credit Union  (Fairfax, VA)

Apple Federal Credit Union offers teacher grants and school grants through the AFCU Education Foundation. If you need support for a special project, or just need to buy classroom supplies, consider applying. The AFCU Education Foundation has donated over $1 million dollars to local teachers, students and schools since its founding in 2006. Apple Federal Credit Union has 21 locations throughout Northern Virginia. Membership is open to faculty, staff and students of many local schools and universities throughout Northern Virginia, their family members, and anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers or attends school in Prince William County, Manassas City or Manassas Park. Please see their membership eligibility page for complete details.

Educator Discounts – A+ Federal Credit Union (Austin, TX)

A+ Federal Credit Union has great rates on financial products, of course, but they also help teachers save money elsewhere with their member discount program. Even if you’re not a teacher, you can take advantage of reduced rates on insurance, amusement park tickets, cell phone plans, computers and more. If you’re a Texas Stars fan, purchase tickets online and watch them play on a discounted game day! You will probably qualify for A+ Federal Credit Union membership if you’re affiliated with a Greater Austin Area school, university or business. If not, you can qualify by becoming a member of the A+ Education Foundation. A+ Federal Credit Union’s branches are located throughout the Greater Austin Area.